[applause] thanks to all capella books in the carter library this is been on my calendar for several months the daimler looking forward to it and i'm glad to share this with you. to share this with people face to face it is incredible. i want to october 2009. at "new york times" metro section of very little piece haag -- of a porter we can nationalist living in the bronx and the late '60s with the wife and young daughter. the mid-19th 68 he and his
comrades decided to hijack a plane from new york to cuba he spent 41 years living in cuba that he decided to come back to the united states and reunite with his wife and adult daughter. and he was arrested the moment he stepped off the plane in jfk. i was interested because of the fugitive and exile that was my sri spot and attracted to but i thought how can you get away with the hijacking for 41 years? i was vaguely familiar with the period of american history when the jet planes to cuba but i did not know much about it so i started to look and i was overwhelmed by the sheer number of hijackings in that period of the late '60s and early '70s between the 1968
and 72 there were over 30 hijackings and america. sometimes at the rate of more than one per week or even two per day. i was looking for people that had been fugitives for many years after hijacking planes. looking at the list of those who led another run there is pretty much of male crew then they saw a woman's name cathy kerkow from the -- from a small town in oregon i was intrigued and it thought would make this 20 old woman turned her back on everything she had ever known to hijack a plane to a foreign country to never come home again? so that was a four year obsession for me in the long journey of the story.
i will start telling the story of her accomplice but more about the general history of hijacking in america and when they started a cuban exile whipped out a steak knife on the miami to key west fly into the private if you want to go to havana there is the assassination attempt orchestrated by the dominican republic than there were others and started the epidemic with an outbreak and cluster the hijackings then they fall off and were back with more violence but during this same bone dash tired period all people wanted to do let's go to cuba one guy wanted to go to arkansas. [laughter]
they just bought it would be amazing socialist paradise to get parades' down the avenue but that did not have been at all and castro wanted nothing to do these people and he would usually throw them in prison and then there would beg to come back. the airlines had a choice basically there is no security at all you can literally walk from the curbside on the airplane without a having a ticket, identification were asked you are carrying or bring anything on to the plate you wanted. so when they started to happen in huge bunches the airlines had a choice we can spend millions of dollars with metal detectors and security personnel and also
to we searched or regis put up with it and comply with everything the white and we get the plane back in the passengers are safe we will lose $20,000 per hijacking but that is not that bad so it was treated as a manager risk at that time but now to read a small passage why it was a mistake to treat skyjacking as a managed risk. >> was contingent on the assumption the teachers would never change. said the perpetrators would be cuban exiles with the sole intent to reach havana with a minimum of fuss. but as they have the resistance from with airlines or authorities there was a new demographic.
the epidemic had its metamorphosis in 1969 when a young african-american couple tyrone and linda takeover a flight york to miami. to run was the aggressor announcing it by holding a gun and to the head of its year-old boy yelling black power havana. black power havana his real objective was to free a felony arrest warrant and it was drawing media attention now there was more black militants hijackings. later that month in 19 year-old navy deserter hijacked flight from key west to havana telling the story is at knifepoint he refused to shed blood in vietnam. the first american hijacking that the military of the opposition it was not the last.
by the second week of february 1969 "the skies belong to us" flights were commandeered in the u.s. set a record pace. in addition they had a former mental patient accompanied with israel son in the community college student who brought a can of bug spray and a retired green beret who wanted to assassinate fidel castro's his bare hands. the faa said it could develop solutions to the crisis the group was inundated with thousands of letters from concerned citizens that had invented ways the with trap doors of the cockpit with stewardesses with tranquilizer darts to play the cuban national anthem before takeoff and arrested
the body to do the lyrics. [laughter] the most popular was for the faa to bill the box airport at the south florida feels they would think that they had reached amanda took that spark serious interest but then thought it would be too expensive. as the task force sifted through the proposals the hijackings continued a 74 year-old world war i veteran pulled a knife on the store is above south carolina black panther hijacked twa flight over nevada and are caught -- chocoholic car dealer to go for the flight so he could hit the beach upon landing in havana so shortly after there is one of two outcomes.
rocky had heard the purpleheart after carryback to the u.s. from vietnam and he demanded the money the was so dense of the marines with held his salary that year in the into dollars but they said the leader of 600 id it was a huge source bought for him so he would burglarize the base for exactly $200 worth of goods and he was court-martialed. said he decided to hijack the plane he did not want to go to cuba he wanted to go to italy the first hijack one dash hijack in america wanting to go to anywhere other than in cuba other than arkansas he was crazy. [laughter] but they had no policy with
want to go somewhere other than havana? the decision to fly him to italy where he was greeted in rome as a huge hero and served 18 months in jail after his release he signed a contract in the western film he posed a video to accordion music is on you to. [laughter] twenty after the other big milestone that shifted the terrain barkley and unemployed truck driver for ears and a bakery and rolled in the seven your issue with the irs and appealed his case the supreme court and he decides to hijack a plane from phoenix to washington d.c. to a and demand many.
$100 million to be paid directly to him in cash by the supreme court as punishment to turn down his appeal. again dell airline has note policy in place nobody had ever asked for many so they try to get all the money they can gather assure nervous with his manager thousand dollars he eventually is shot by the fbi but it sets a precedent now people are not just going over the world but now asking for money. fabrics us to the ear of the epidemic 1972 people are jumping out of planes with $70,000, a shootout on the plate in people being killed than we have the couple on the cover of the book cathy
kerkow a 200 from oregon working in a massage parlor in san diego in she meets roger holder and man who had for tour in vietnam and lied about his age as 17 he had twin daughters. and was a helicopter crew chief. during the third tour he is arrested for marijuana possession and sentenced to stockade then he was bitter in went awol when he returned it to the u.s. in move to san diego in meets cathy kerkow. of hatred out there that was the four previous children as roger holder family had been in oregon when he was 10 years old their lives for three months in the family
was one of the few black families but were treated hill by racists in the town and were forced to live one dash and forced to leave the writer and kathy and bumped into each other. roger a big believer in astrology thought this meant they were meant to do something amazing together. he decides this amazing thing is hijack a plane and use the capt. as a bargaining chip to liberate angeles davis so i will read your about him in 1972 roger is making his plan on this live without telling cathy kerkow just a few days away from the hijacking.
white non dash ready cathy kerkow ready to visit her father writer redoubled the efforts to finalize the edge of the davis plan with each recent skyjacking taking notes of what works and what didn't. there is no shortage of intriguing case studies including a pair that place of the same day a young north dakota and recently drafted to havana he did so with the note he has heavy armed members of the imperialists movement to make sure the skies would not be safe again. an almost exact same moment a hijacked plane touched down in cuba with a 49 year-old bailed out of the eastern airlines boeing 727 as it flew into honduras and
carry $303,000 in ransom paid by the airlines as a stop in washington d.c.. he finished into the jungle there was a rumor you donate money to the marxist insurgents his plan became muddled he kept using different strategies a different complexity and could not decide which one to pursue. he scribbled step-by-step instructions and his notebook along with the destinations should highjacking go awry and he thought about the note with the urging and tone. as the notebook rinaldi of blank pages he gave it a name of the greek king he tried to bulbul perhaps the hell.
he told cathy kerkow they should call for a special dinner in he had something very important to discuss with her. his parents show for the couple to an institution known for the seafood cocktail the meal was extravagant given the sorry state of their costs -- and expensive species were there was a good reason for coming in through the dinner he reached across the table for kathy to take his hand and invited her to join the operation. he did not delve into too many operational details was his responsibility but he gave her rough idea of what he had a mind beginning with the plan to hijack a hawaii jeff from los angeles and said it would have the range necessary for the mission. since then he will change half the passengers for
sizable amount of money and angela davis. then headed to north vietnam stopping in honolulu to refuel. as they approached hanoi he would request the prime minister come to the airport to offer political asylum. then davis was in good hands and then he would donate the ransom to the viet cong leader to show his role in the war but the hijacking would not end there. after dropping off davis in the ransom they would fly to australia they could homestead in the outback and get married then send for his twin daughters as cathy kerkow would raise as thrown in there with live happily ever after. cathy kerkow had never heard of anything so far out. she knew he had to define a streak but this was true rebellion.
there is only way she to possibly respond to the extreme proposal. so what to wear to hijacking? [laughter] >> as you can guess things did not go well for them. said he did not pay attention to important detail starting with the pavement their tickets to hawaii with a bounced check so that connecting flight they stopped and said i'm sorry in the air tickets your check is no good so they're stuck an acidulous was no money the in to the davis jerry will start deliberating that very day. then cathy kerkow remembered in her purse a round-trip
ticket to seattle that her father has sent to come visit him she missed the flight to days earlier she went to the counter to say tonight stains this for two one-way tickets to seattle? and back then you could do that. and actually get a refund for the difference i will conclude the reading by a giving you an idea of the reading of the hijacking which is the heart and soul of this book. >> roger holder was taking for a taste of marijuana just a few quick puffs to call his serves he had a cigarette pack full of joints in his breast pocket but no way to take a puff without attracting and went to the attention. and then for a second round of durbin with a stewardess
who said her name is gina and also some turbulence coster's to spill some alcohol on his jacket she profusely apologize. >> host: don't worry no harm done. but still she promises to bring in a dry cleaning voucher and he turned his head to watch her walk back the figure in a flattering peach uniformity that of asking her to join them on their journey. [laughter] to become a happy band of homesteaders in the outback he knew would be foolish to deviate from the plan. when he ran out of cigarettes he had up an auto sales executive from suburban seattle used as an excuse to make small talk and asked roger holder how long he was in the army.efore es
father's been his entire career in the military that was the last true saying he told him he would receive a fantastic tale clues me to be a helicopter pilot just emerging from the hospital after having grievous wounds and also served in korea where he was shot down in a bombing mission over the 30th parallel and had -- and headed to san with army intelligence that he had the genius level of 141 did when it was over he hoped to train pilots was maneuvering. and the middle-aged homemaker from los angeles and next to cathy kerkow she is traveling for a birthday party was a medical transcriptionist than soon after she was roped into a
game of gin rummy. now holder had self doubt in rory that he had waited too long to execute the takeover he began to compose a new note for the captain on a sheet of legal yellow paper it was able to string together a coherent letter for the thoughts are slipping away roger holder ask for another cigarette who is trying to maintain some cool but desperately trying to muster the courage to go do it. a to 25:00 p.m. the captain's voice came over to direct the attention to the
snowcapped mountain on the left side of the aircraft always going smoothly and there would be on the ground in 25 minutes. roger holder put out his cigarette. now whenever. now or never. in then pulled up the briefcase and opened in removed a troublesome eyes alarm clock in roundup of the back and said the briefcase. could you watch my seat he ask the sales executive? with that he rose and walked down the aisle. cathy kerkow watched him walk by. "this is it." holder pullback the galley to find stewardesses' putting proxy into their mouth including the lovely gina.
the dry cleaning voucher. i forgot about the voucher. he said let me show you something taking out some notepaper. read these. should begin to read a first kinnealey handwritten message but there is no mistaking the meaning it read, success or death everyone except the capt. will leave the cabin there are four of us. do wish your told the new shooting will take place. the co-pilot in navigator are to leave the cabin in take seats at the we are of the aircraft. plotted on autopilot put your hands a doctor had in the the cabin door opened the weatherman -- signed the
weatherman for a you have two minutes the other she was a diagram of a briefcase each labeled seats number 124 it would explain the contents. it read, for men, three gunmen, two bombs, plastic explosives, the batteries, at concussion grenade, keep smiling. turn over. there is just one more thing. to the captain, don't stop he based his and a centerpiece of copper wire by the handle was connected to a metal ring in his left
index being driven tap the briefcase with his right hand as if to say in here. he elbowed his way in and stepped into the galley the knee against the counter top every trace of kindness was gone. you have two minutes he said. she did not hesitate to abandon the final instruction is she headed to the cockpit. then is the opening of what becomes the longest distance hijacking of american history will not reveal too much about it but i will say they did not end up in north viet nam december very far away but i want youtube read the box level not read too much. thank you if you have questions about the golden age of hijacking in general, please. i'll be happy to answer them
[applause] major hand and wait for the microphone to ask your question you don't need to hold the microphone. >> was there any significant ethan that led to the end of the series of hijackings? >> drought 72 there were 29 hijackings that year increasingly more bizarre and crazy in more sums of money in there were shootouts with the fbi in people were killed as a result of the one in particular that broke the camel's back that brought about universal screening of passengers november 1972
were three fugitives from justice covered two men from the tree in a brother hijacked southern airways flight over alabama in the demand was $10 million which by far was a record of for ransom demand but if they did not get $10 million to a crash a plane into the oak ridge national laboratory which had a nuclear reactor with uranium 235 which is of course, for the bond. and for -- fortunately they bring in enough still waiting for the many to be gathered of course, they had a hard time to get the money but they get $2 million civil the bank under the plan it weighs 050 pounds so
these guys think it has to be in do not count it if they would have too knows what would have happened. [laughter] go to cuba and are imprisoned there for shirley afterwards you have the executive order by the nixon administration to say we have to start screening every betty j. dray 51973 the first day all passengers had to have back surgery and metal detectors. tried way they plummet at zero state resisted so long so afraid of losing business treating a bit like criminals because they were flying but they saw in the not too distant future of mass destruction.
>> was this an american trend where other people doing that? >> it was happening all over the globe in fact, before in america it originated pretty much in europe from people from the soviet bloc's like the czech republic and poland would hijack planes in go to west berlin or copenhagen of course, we do not call them hijackers but is scabies but hijackers had a bizarre background gangsters would hold up the liquor tracks so it was a criminal and pejorative connotation so they were
escapees that was hijackers and happening all over the world and colombians especially. in the greeks and the most well-known of the hijackers were the liberation of palestine that had several high-profile hijacking of a very famous commando who famously hijacked a plane in 1969 and destroyed the cockpit is she got out of prison there is a very
famous glamorous shot taken never buy a pulitzer prize total winning journalists holding the ak-47 and she has a ring on her ring finger made from a rifle showcasing the she was engaged to the revolutions as she was a very glamorous figure and underwent six surgeries to redo her face she did it with underground no anesthesia and then hijacked a plane is part of the massive operation and then stop by passengers for doing that of so it was very much a pandemic.
>> i always just wondering of your background research today d.c. they have gone to extremes? >> with the other reactions but i am afraid to take on the play because they feel if anybody sees me with it that i will be dragged in search by the gsa and they will freak out and it never occurred to me we got to a place so far away from this era that people are paranoid about being seen of jay space history. i think we're just overly
paranoid at this point and a lot of fear is not justifiable but to talk about the security but definitely a case to be made in the opposite direction with their own sense of freedom and the longing. it is understandable to some extent certainly but perhaps we need more distance from these events. >>. >> in the 1970's into lower
thoroughly so your comments bring it back but the question i have is related to the details the you express from your book for example, the flight across the hijackers mines. is as a result of your research in interviews? >> there is no in dollars and i interviewed roger holder i tracked him down he is living in san diego in a very difficult man to find
but i found him and interviewed him a great length. so the details about him wanting to have jeannette's come along on their adventure is straight from him in the interview gina as well. i tried to track down every single living person that i could. 1/2 to call people say you don't know me but i want to talk about what happened 40 years ago but to substantiate all that but with that speaker profile this is something the faa did they would never allow universal screening so the faa is compromised with a
checklist of 25 people accused that would be indicative of potential hijackers. when you got the boarding pass it was irresponsible to give you the once over with that one of 25 accused the new killed back inside for further screening. but yes this tiny faction but it fits the profile there is a court case that the court has to be cleared of all spectators some of the behavioral tipoffs not caring about luggage, not maintaining i contact and
wearing army gear because a lot of hijackers were veterans. in roger holder where his army uniforms and he thought that would be a nice touch. [laughter] so that is interesting. >> [inaudible] >> that is a great question. there's several teenage hijackers one as 14 years old one hears about a 14 year-old boy who tried to
hijack a plane and actually grab a hostage at knifepoint in a broader on the plane and also other instances of 4915 year-old is doing that but there are several times where people brought along the kids on the hijacking to cuba in this one in the book i talk about a group of eight people as a hijacking family five adults and three kids from detroit hijack the plane to algeria. three very young children in the and this was a baby. it is a sad story i talk about in the book but they had to make a choice with they send the children back
separate themselves so i talk about kids being along for the ride in the make very bad choices. >> you talk about the paranoia of today and what it was like and then? in beckett was a revelation especially after the epidemic because people assume the hijacker wanted to negotiate so there was the assumption i'll have to go to having an all be put up in the hotel i will have a great story from referencing get a cigar. [laughter] but in 1968 "time" magazine published a guide for its basically if you are nice
they will be based in and ask to go to this hotel and there's a good deal on clothing in one thing i found out a lot of times the airlines would serve alcohol during the hijackings in the people would get wasted. [laughter] because in this particular hijacking had access to all fbi debriefings so the person was too inebriated to interview. end of interview. [laughter] so in 1972 when things got more crazy people got a little more wary because passengers were being killed and the demands were getting crazier and crazier. now it wasn't just money but cigarette saying parachuting can figure and people were
not right psychologically and very and predictable. there was more feared during this time but most people took in stride. >> this reminds me when i worry about the media was there an effort to muzzle the media when it sounds like there is copycat. >> the hijackers were influenced by the news reports and they reduce them to study and roger holder told me he would study other hijackings to see what they did that was wrong. at what is the phenomenon of those to parachute out but they did it invested up in
the infamous cooper who jumped out with no protective equipment during a hailstorm and died on the way down but the knicks jobs out and makes it to the ground but he sprained his ankle if they find him in the field in global the next guy wears better boots in the improved and improve it improves the ransom demand the of 500,000 i will get 502,000. so no doubt that it did influence. there let's talk about limiting media access to hijacking this is the early heyday of the 6:00 news to flourish in the hijackings
were fantastic you bring up the camera crew with in to show the terrified families of the hostages crying in the big bag of money out to the airplane is a great tv and a lot of chatter from the faa and those wanting to limit access to the media. but it never actually happens. they tried to limit media access to a transcript or communication and the control tower. so to sue these organizations but it was discussed at the time for sure. >> what did the airlines do
to mitigate hijackers? >> not a lot to be honest. what they did was tell the crew to comply with anything and everything and never say no and do exactly what they say if we do exactly what they say the assumption was he get the plane back in the passengers will be okay. that is all they cared about the biggest nightmare was a hijacker killing somebody. so they thought as long as a given everything they want everything will be okay. the this was a much cheaper option spending millions upon millions. >> to go through one of
those airline mergers one of the secondary cockpit various have we reached love will of complacency? >> i cannot comment specifically on that but complacency after 1991 there was no hijackings that all in america from september 11 so you have a tenure period you have a situation where the people who ran were private contractors is no tea s.a. but hired from the airline ith the primary
concern was to take my work but all the satin the average salary for the airport security screeners $12,000 per year typical trading was 20 minutes vhs video showing you what to do. there was not a security profession in any sense but i see the danger for you talk about certain they. with the privatization of the gse would your thoughts? it is a very sensitive topic >> this goes back to the struggles with the
government went to the airlines to hire full-time personnel and also be first-time salary benefits the rationale with the bus depot and the train station doesn't have security workers away to airports? and also that they don't have to pay for. i think privatization will have to happen it will be carefully regulated but otherwise it is a race to the bottom and they would have to cut a lot of corners. but then to give that up at this point it is something that is important but certainly we don't want a situation there is no overlap -- oversight.
>> even after people started to get killed? >>. >> they were so up in arms with the undercover agents with him and talk about one thing in here one passenger was killed and two were injured where the fbi sent a disguise pilot to strip down to his underwear and actually had begun in his pocket and then had a team of agents sneaking up on the
plane to come on board there is a huge fire fight with two passengers wounded one killed quite serious. so the action plan ashley reaction is don't put the fbi on the play. [laughter] cynthia talk about also the captain of the flight to let the fbi on the play they wanted to get on their the said no way i am letting the fbi come on with a gun. [applause] thank you so much.
to research the book to be more familiar the year ended is getting harder it is more heavier in more pelosi and more amenities and all of that from 20 years ago and is one of the top two most dangerous job categories in the united states because there are so many injuries back, shoulder, and the use
with this election and nevada has improved through the last two presidential cycles it is very politically conscious of a move. i think what really makes an area of city of very best way to do it is to look at the economy. but if you are in detroit you want to find out the auto industry or the autoworkers or with the
agriculture or the farm workers a and in nevada you research the gaming industry and what it means in the net case to me but they are invisible but the woman that works as a maid is disrespect did a and a think that is a terrible thing. people worked tremendously hard to feed their families and work for the community.